Before we present a list of some of the best places to live abroad with family, we first want to share the most important aspects of moving abroad. If you have set your sights on a new destination, there are a few things you need to take into account before you relocate and start from scratch.
A large proportion of American expat families can be found in the neighboring countries, either Canada or Mexico, but there are also those who prefer to venture to faraway lands and move across the ocean. Our focus will be on the best places in Europe, in terms of affordability and standard of living.
What Are the Most Important Aspects of Choosing a Home Overseas, According to Expats
Even though you have no idea what to do with so many clothing items and you find yourself preoccupied with the change of weather, there are many other aspects you need to take into account before you step on foreign soil. Go through our list and make sure you have everything arranged before the big day comes.
World of Visas – Do You Need One?
When you decide to move abroad, finding the right international movers and getting packing services won’t be the most challenging part of the trip. You have to make sure you can legally stay in the country and figure out what type of visa you need. Is it a residence visa or a work visa? Will you need to fill out additional paperwork? If you choose one of the European places to settle in, your residence visa opens the door to other EU countries, and you will be able to travel a lot more without any additional paperwork. Get familiar with some of the legal requirements necessary to stay in the EU. Talk to some friends who have already moved. They can share some useful moving tips.
What Type of Medical Insurance and Health Care Foreign Places Offer
Before you leave the States and embark on a journey to a new home abroad, make sure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria for medical care and social security benefits. The change of climate can impact your health, and even though you enjoy the continental climate of Europe, you still have to apply for health insurance.
Thankfully, if your next home is part of the EU, you just need to apply for the European Health Insurance Card, and you will be fine. Most countries require granted health insurance as a precondition for a visa. Nevertheless, wherever you decide to move, you have to check insurance rules for each country.
Work and Money Issues
Even though you are looking forward to living in a new country, you need to also take a look at the work opportunities in your chosen destination. If you do not have a job waiting for you at the destination of your choice, you might want to skim through some of the options offered. After all, you are moving with your family, and having your finances covered will reduce a significant amount of stress. Have a look at some popular job opportunities, and once you have no doubts, continue with the moving plans.
Cost of Living in Popular Places
Even though life in Europe will most likely cost you and your family less than the one you have in the States, you’d want to stay away from capitals such as London, Paris, Brussels, Rome, and so on. Not only will you have to share your surroundings with hordes of tourists, but living in the periphery will be a lot cheaper than settling in the capital. Prices differ in every aspect of life – the rent, the food, public transport, gas, and so on. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions in Eastern Europe. If you are moving to the Eastern countries, choosing places such as Budapest or Ljubljana won’t make a huge difference. To get a better understanding of how much money you should expect to spend each month, you should check the index map for the costs of living in Europe.
Do You Plan to Retire Overseas – Read About Expat Pension
What are your moving goals? Do you have itchy feet and crave another world adventure, or do you plan to choose a nation where you want to retire? This is a big decision. If you are moving for good, you need to double-check the retirement regulations of the country you are moving to. As an expat, you might have some unique opportunities. A good idea would be to hire an advisor to share some tips with you and help you get familiar with the regulations of expat pensions.
Travel Opportunities Overseas – It’s Not All About Work
One of the perks of living in Europe is the vast number of travel opportunities. If you live in Florida, you can drive for 8 hours, and you will still be in the same state. In Europe, you can cross the borders with just two or three hours’ drive, and you will be in another country. Your family will enjoy many cheap international travels between the countries of the European Union. After a week of hard work, you can easily plan a getaway weekend abroad.
The Trending Language Overseas – World of English or Other Languages
Before you choose your next stop, you need to make sure that English is spoken there, even more so if you’re relocating with children. If you are not bilingual, moving to some countries will be harder than you think. In case you are keen to move to France, you might want to take a few classes of French since the population is not really fluent in English. Thankfully, a large proportion of EU citizens speak amazing English, and you won’t have any issues settling in.
#1 Find Your Happy Place Here in Porto, Portugal
Moving to Portugal means you’re going to the home of two of the most beautiful cities of the Iberian Peninsula. Even though Lisbon might be more popular as the country’s capital, you will find everything you need in Porto. Choosing Porto as your hometown will be a lot cheaper, and you can equally enjoy the wine and sunshine. In Porto, there are no limitations to foreign ownership, and you will be able to buy your own property rather than rent. It will be good to learn a few useful phrases in Portuguese before you officially move.
#2 However Far It Might Be, It’s Enchanting – Valencia, Spain
To most Americans, moving to Spain has always been a fascinating idea. Even though everyone is obsessed with Madrid’s beauty, we put Valencia on the table as well. The beautiful city is the third most visited place in Spain with amazing beaches. The home of the famous paella has many job opportunities for those who are fluent in English. If you need some time to manage around, you can always teach English. You should take into account that Spain has a slightly weaker economy from the rest of the EU, but that means that renting costs will be lower.
#3 Relocate to the Hub of Culture and History – Padua, Italy
This small, enchanting city has an impressive and ancient architecture with many bridges cutting across the river. Before you get settled in Padua, you have to make sure all your papers are in order. Get familiar with the Italian visa requirements! You don’t have to live in Rome and have a rat-race life to make ends meet. By moving to Italy and picking Padua, you will be able to travel with your family and enjoy cheaper housing. It will be useful to learn at least some basic Italian.
#4 Is it the Beauty of the City or the Smell of Cheese: Respondents Said that There is No Such Place as Toulouse, France
Moving to France, specifically the south of the country, has always been a dream of many Americans. Toulouse has an ideal geographical location, with the Pyrenees mountains in close proximity and the Mediterranean Sea approximately 90 miles away.
This is a vibrant and urban city that is a lot cheaper than Paris. It’s pointless paying thousands of euros for a flat in Paris when you can enjoy the commodity of Toulouse. Here you will find plenty of accommodation offers. Most parts of Toulouse are extremely safe for raising a family, although some poorer areas, such as Reynerie and Basso Campo, should be avoided. As we already mentioned, English won’t be sufficient for your new life in France. Take a few classes to get around with language.
#5 Nature and Rainy Days – Nottingham, Great Britain
Most people dream of the magnificent London. Well, you can travel there whenever you want, but do you have to live there? The birthplace of Robin Hood will be a wiser choice if you want to explore England’s vast green areas. This is a highly multicultural place and a perfect hub for families. You will have a diverse array of employment opportunities. Get familiar with the required paperwork for a UK visa, and you can start planning the relocation process.
#6 Get Ready for Rotterdam, The Netherlands
If you opt to move to the Netherlands, you won’t have to learn Dutch. It is well known that Dutch people are some of the best speakers of English. The city of Rotterdam is brimming with culture, and it is even considered the country’s second capital with less expensive housing. The weather can be unpredictable, but we are sure you won’t mind that in a city that has such a booming economy.
#7 The Beginning of Everything – Athens, Greece
If you are looking for a historic center of the world, you won’t miss it if you choose to move to Greece. Some Americans dream of the beautiful Greek beaches, but all American expats here know that Greece has a lot more to offer. If you plan to work in Athens for several years, you may as well purchase some real estate.
#8 Affordable and Comfy – Budapest, Hungary
This city is a hot spot in Eastern Europe. The only challenge here would be the language. If you are not ready to learn the language, you might at least pick up some common phrases. Even though the younger population speak English, you will find that not everyone is familiar with the language. Nevertheless, this beautiful and historic center has reasonable costs of living, and even though it’s the capital, you won’t have financial difficulties.
#9 Slavic Beauty: Ljubljana, Slovenia
A city that has a diverse culture, language, and geography will be great for you and your family. There is no reason to worry about employment opportunities because its economy is one of the richest among its neighbors.The costs of living are among the cheapest ones in Europe. The population is quite fluent in English.